Symbol photo on the topic cryptocurrency. (Getty/Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) — Tech Bureau Corp., which operated the Zaif cryptocurrency platform until it was hit by a massive hack, said Thursday it will close down its virtual currency exchange business once it has completed refunding customers.

The Osaka-based company, which saw some 7 billion yen ($65 million) worth of cryptocurrency stolen as the result of unauthorized access in September last year, has been repeatedly ordered by the Japanese Financial Services Agency to improve its business operations due to a lack of security and internal control measures.

This marks the first time a cryptocurrency exchange operator registered with the agency will shut down its operations.

Following the heist, Tech Bureau transferred operations of the Zaif platform to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange Inc., a subsidiary of the financial services group Fisco Ltd., in November last year.

Tech Bureau said it will refund clients in Japanese yen between Sept. 2 and Nov. 30 providing they have not moved their accounts to Fisco.

The hacking incident at Tech Bureau, which followed a similar heist at Coincheck Inc. in January 2018, has renewed debate over the safety of using such cryptocurrency platforms.

More recently, Bitpoint Japan Co. said in July digital currencies worth 3.02 billion yen were stolen in Japan and an additional 250 million yen at overseas exchanges that use its trading system.


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